Friday, August 3, 2018

Breakout session: Pictures and Words Working Together, Brian Pinkney

Brian Pinkney with some
of his early sketches.
Using his sketch and dummy books, award-winning and New York Times best-selling author-illustrator, Brian Pinkney, offered attendees a virtual glimpse into his art studio. As he spoke about his process, he passed around samples of his sketches, leaving attendees oohing and aahing over his brilliance.

As illustrators, we've all been there—stuck on an idea. Not quite sure how to puzzle out a visual. How does Brian Pinkney push past artist's block? He naps. Yes, seriously. That's exactly how he came to illustrate his first book, THE BOY AND THE GHOST, written by Robert D. San Souci. "The visuals came to me during my naps," he said. And Pinkney continues to use that dream technique today.

To familiarize himself with a new book project, Pinkney reads a new manuscript many times, until he forgets that he did not write it himself  (Shhh!--Don't tell his wife, author Andrea Pinkney, he said that).
Pinkney demonstrates
"confident line," where artist
is fully confident in their work.

For visual inspiration, Pinkney turns to visionaries like Jean Michael Bisquat, Marc Chagall, Norman Lewis, artists who paint ideas rather than realistic scenes.

While many illustrators worry about how to fit their art around a text, Pinkney does the exact opposite: His goal is fitting the text around his art. Illustrators in the room loved that. 

Here are some of Pinkney's books discussed:

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